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Review JN045: Sword & Shield IV - The Ultimate Sword and Shield

KrspaceT

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My own take, having gotten to see the rest of the arc without horrible subtitles (....ich...) is that the Ash stuff seems to be more solid than the Goh parts. Goh has good stuff but a lot of the Ash stuff seems to be solid.

I like the Riolu bits more than the Raboot for an example.

I may be biased of course. I do a lot of with Ash (try 718,000 words of him and about 30,000 soon to go to beta more) and while I don't hate Goh I do feel this should stay the Ash Ketchum show.

My own take is....well what a lot of people say. More people, and possibly a few more Galar arcs of build up. I'd actually like the idea of a bit of meat given to Rose offering Ash a sponsorship. It was handled well but it feels like something that has a lot of potential to explore even if it just an episode of Goh thinking Ash was going to leave him.
 

Johtohfiller

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I'm gonna rate this 4 parter "pretty good, but should have been 5 parts." Or even just some buildup scenes in previous episodes - my single biggest complaint might be Rose catching Eternatus offscreen, would it have killed them to show that?
 

R1ke

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Yeah this one was ironically the weakest episode of the arc. It really felt we were going through the motions here. A big killer for me was as cool as the Riolu/Raboot evolutions were, it lost so much impact for me because it was spoiled in the opening, all those posters and even that trailer for the mewtwo episode. I know it wouldn't have been rocket science figuring out they'd evolve here, but that double-evolution would've had a lot more hype if I couldn't pinpoint exactly when it'd happen in my opinion.

That Ash vs Rose battle had a surprising amount of strategy in it - Rose's pokemon actually synergised with each other pretty well and I liked how Ash actually figured it out and outsmarted him there. Disorienting their formation by taking advantage of his pokemon's speed, then making them attach each other was pretty clever. I wish it'd been longer though, and we got more interaction between Ash and Rose here, but I'm still fine with what we got. Goh vs Oleana though, damn that was shocking. She really should've used a different pokemon to make Goh's victory look more believable. Although I liked the callback to episode 36 and how it was Raboot who wanted to win with Ember (when Goh tried to choose a different move), it didn't look good. I'm pretty disappointed we didn't even see Blaze Kick here, would've loved to see it one last time. Raboot's evolution also felt forced, like at least Riolu was protecting Ash and pushed to his limit - Raboot was spamming ember then just evolved. Also, Oleana wanted to end the battle quickly, yet she literally let Goh stand there and formulate a whole strategy? I'm also gonna miss Raboot man, I loved its personality and design, and I'm not exactly fond of Cinderace, to put it lightly.

Miscellaneous stuff I liked/found amusing:
- Raihan blatantly hitting on Sonia was not something I was expecting lmao. I'm surprised they didn't know each though, given their mutual connection to Leon.
- Rose fanboying over Eternamax Eternatus, whilst Oleana was genuinely terrified by it. It shows how far gone Rose is. That, and him straight-up trying to crush Riolu earlier.
- So glad Rose is still alive and is set-up for a return. He's become of the highlights of this arc for me, and it's great to see he's not done yet. Maybe he'll actually get screentime with Peony?
- Leon being badass and actually trying to use an ultra ball here. He's improved a lot in this arc as well.
- Seeing Ash command Lucario to use Aura Sphere is just, so good. Their aura connection was also hype to see.
- Man Hammerlocke stadium looks awesome! Weird thing to point out I know, but those lights, banners, flooring and sunset outside just looked incredible to me. Great place for such an iconic evolution.
- Eternamax Eternatus looks sick, and CGI Eternatus has grown on me.
- Some of the animations in that last fight were clean (aura sphere, pyro ball, thunderbolt and eternabeam in particular).

Overall, episode was good but rushed - especially all the Eternatus stuff. But it was still a decent way to end off an otherwise solid arc. I'll give it a 7/10. Keen for the next one.
 
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PkmnTrainerV

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because Ash wasn't necessarily losing the battle, it got interrupted,
Well they showed it in such a way that the Pokémon were about to attack Ash and Pikachu... Ash had effectively lost.

Nope, remember that in the last episode Goh asked Zamazenta for help but it refused it, and then it magically changes its mind in this episode.
He didn’t have the Sword and Shield though, then? And Eternatus hadn’t reached Eternamax.
I haven’t watched the subs, just the OG Japanese version without knowing much Japanese but I got the inference that wolves came out to help since Ash and Gou had their transformation items, and it was a serious situation since Eternatus had reached Eternamax.
 

Beatsy Ray

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For the people who complained about Riolu's "night evolution", Ash vs. Rose and Leon vs. Eternatus happen at the same time, and in one of the frames, we can clearly see if it's sunset when Charizard is using Dragon Claw. Riolu can evolve during sunset hours in the games. Then again, it's not a really well thought out episode with attention to detail in the first place, seems like they just wanted the events done and dusted with. Michihiro Tsuchiya is no Atsuhiro Tomioka after all.
I'm just surprised they didn't use this as an opportunity to invent dusk-form Lucario.
 

VetProf

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Then again, it's not a really well thought out episode with attention to detail in the first place, seems like they just wanted the events done and dusted with.
At the very least, I think we can all appreciate the fact that the writers made Leon use an Ultra Ball instead of a regular Pokeball to try and catch Eternatus. Yes, the final capture was still done using a regular Poke Ball, but I'm fine with it since Eternatus was already quite weakened by then.

Anyway, I find it funny that ya'll were arguing about whether or not Gou officially caught/owned Eternatus while completely ignoring his comment at the end of the episode about wanting to catch Zamazenta in the future. Regardless of whether ya'll think the writers will/should ever let Gou actually catch (and own) a legendary or not, one thing that's clear is that Gou's stance towards catching legendaries has remained completely unchanged. And considering this series's focus on raid battles, expect similar scenarios to pop up again in the future.
 

Twilight-Kun

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What's up with people saying that "Goh caught Eternatus?" 1) He and Ash caught it together, as was clearly seen in the episode, and 2) it's not like Goh is ever gonna use Eternatus anyway. If he'd thrown the ball himself, then there'd be something to that argument, but there really isn't anything to fret about here. Is the fact that HIS Poke Ball was used to do the deed really that offensive?
Going by that logic, Jessie's mimikyu is actually James' since she catches it with HIS luxury ball
 

Eitarou

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Nope, remember that in the last episode Goh asked Zamazenta for help but it refused it, and then it magically changes its mind in this episode.
Um, no, it and Zacian specifically led Goh and Sonia to the Rusted Sword and Shield SO they could help against Eternatus.

The wolves in the forest were illusions, so what could they do in that state?
 

R1ke

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Anyway, I find it funny that ya'll were arguing about whether or not Gou officially caught/owned Eternatus while completely ignoring his comment at the end of the episode about wanting to catch Zamazenta in the future. Regardless of whether ya'll think the writers will/should ever let Gou actually catch (and own) a legendary or not, one thing that's clear is that Gou's stance towards catching legendaries has remained completely unchanged. And considering this series's focus on raid battles, expect similar scenarios to pop up again in the future.

Yeah I reckon that the Zapdos encounter didn’t deter him from wanting to catch legendaries, but rather showed him it wasn’t easy to catch them. Despite being successful in most of his captures so far (that he at least set out to get) legendaries are on another level. He can’t just expect to get them first go but that shouldn’t stop him from trying (as his pokemon grow stronger in the process). Hopefully he takes a page from Leon’s book next time, and actually bothers to use more than 1 type of pokeball.
 
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Twilight-Kun

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A random detail I noticed when I first saw the episode: Aura Sphere's animation here is very similar to the one used in the Black 2 and White 2 Animated Trailer.
So...the same it's been since it debuted back in M01 which then was used for several other moves such as Water Pulse in XY?

It's not new or unique
 

FinnishPokéFan92

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So...the same it's been since it debuted back in M01 which then was used for several other moves such as Water Pulse in XY?

It's not new or unique
Movie 1? That was in Generation I, three Generations before Aura Sphere was invented. If you're referring to the move Mewtwo used in that movie, it was Shadow Ball, a preview to the then-upcoming Generation II.
 

Twilight-Kun

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Movie 1? That was in Generation I, three Generations before Aura Sphere was invented. If you're referring to the move Mewtwo used in that movie, it was Shadow Ball, a preview to the then-upcoming Generation II.
Just pointing out the pose and style of move is as old as the beginning of the series
 

Sheep

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Late to watching, but I honestly thought this episode was really good! The entire arc would've benefitted from an extra episode or two for better buildup and pacing, sure, but this one is probably still going to be in my top 10. Most of the action/battles were well-written and seeing just how threatening Eternatus was with its size and huge attacks pushing everyone back into the wall (and knocking Leon unconscious) was A+. Really did feel how dire the situation was, and I love when Pokémon goes the more serious route. Lucario was awesome and Cinderace hugging Go was adorable too tbh. My main issues were wishing Raboot's battle was a little better than just using Ember from the sides, and Sonia doing more throughout the arc to earn her professor title.

Still, loved it!
 

Gabo2oo

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I had to watch the entire arc back-to-back.

Pretty good overall, but even without playing Sword/Shield, I can tell the format of the series definetly hurt. You throw in backstory and exposition as fast as possible to make us suddenly care about these characters from one episode to another. That said, it actually was decently handled within what the writers sought to do. My problem is what they sought to do in the first place.

I like how they included stuff you don't usually see from this anime, such as car chases or phone calls. I feel like the writers are finally comfortable with a more "contemporary" setting, compared to the pre-SM era.

As for this episode, I actually liked Team Rocket. IMO some fans often want them to do stuff that actively impacts the protagonists in these arcs, but I don't think that always has to be the case. Them doing their own thing and getting caught in the crossfire has always been a thing, and Dynamaxing Meowth was fun enough for them to stand out. I don't find it believable that Giovanni would know about the Eternatus ploy beforehand and still treat it as a low-tier mission for the TRio, though.

Ash vs. Chairman Rose was a joy to watch. It was brief but still had a sense of strategy that's not usually seen because of the 2v2 format.

Gou vs. Oleanna was... hmm. The whole "Ember" thing comes off as kinda petty, it should've been foreshadowed throughout the series instead of thrown in only when they need drama for a battle. Also it was poorly justified, just because Rabifoot wants to finish with Ember doesn't mean that's literally the only move he should be willing to use.

I like the shots of the characters flying around and getting physically hurt to put emphasis on how destructive Eternatus is. Reminds me of one of my favorite sequences during the Episode N finale. A huge downside though is that we had zero shots showing how the Galarian people were being affected. If the stakes are high, you gotta show it. It's one of the things that made the XYZ arc so good.

As for the other legendaries... Well, I cannot tell which one is Zacian and which one is Zamazenta, which speaks volumes IMO. Again, if this entire storyline wasn't presented and resolved in just four episodes, maybe they would've been much more memorable. The same goes for pretty much every Galar charater.

They seriously need a bigger music library from Hayashi. The tracks are well used, but we've heard them so much it's beginning to become stale and predictable. It's the same problem BW had when they stopped using music from previous series. Shoutouts to Masafumi Mima for still using Miyazaki's tracks when needed, though.

By the way, the first 3 episodes had the final shot zoom out for the "To Be Continued" text like the original series? What's with that?
 

jbmasta

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Hopefully we get to return to Galar and get some pay off for the reconciliation between Leon and Sonia.
 

nickdt

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For the people who complained about Riolu's "night evolution", Ash vs. Rose and Leon vs. Eternatus happen at the same time, and in one of the frames, we can clearly see if it's sunset when Charizard is using Dragon Claw. Riolu can evolve during sunset hours in the games. Then again, it's not a really well thought out episode with attention to detail in the first place, seems like they just wanted the events done and dusted with. Michihiro Tsuchiya is no Atsuhiro Tomioka after all.

I mean, its not like the anime has bend the rules of evolution anyways. Misty's Politoed, Brocks Steelix didn't evolve by trade for example. Sliggoo evolved into Goodra by using Rain Dance, which it can't do in the games, so Riolu evolving during the night or the day in the anime doesn't really bother me either way.
 

Twilight-Kun

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The anime's been ignoring game mechanics for literally over 20 years
 
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